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Ham&High in-depth analysis: candidates quizzed by community (part 7)

PUBLISHED: 11:50 30 April 2010 | UPDATED: 16:57 07 September 2010

HOLBORN AND ST PANCRAS Totals: Frank Dobson = 45 George Lee = 41 Jo Shaw = 39 Natalie Bennett = 37 1) What would the candidates do during this next Parliament to build public support for the inconvenient and unpopular lifestyle changes needed to achiev

HOLBORN AND ST PANCRAS

Totals:

Frank Dobson = 45

George Lee = 41

Jo Shaw = 39

Natalie Bennett = 37

1) What would the candidates do during this next Parliament to build public support for the inconvenient and unpopular lifestyle changes needed to achieve the necessary reductions in the UK's emissions?

George Lee (Conservative): I believe that we should incentivise people to actually reduce their carbon footprints. The conservatives have already said we will give £6,500 for people to insulate their homes so clearly people will use less fuel and pay less in bills. There is a stick approach that Labour is using for recycling and environmental impact but we would incentivise people to recycle so they would get paid for doing it. We would also encourage people to generate their own energy with things like wind turbines or if communities want to get together and want to create a wind farm they can then sell the electricity to the national grid. SCORE = 3

Jo Shaw (Liberal Democrat): I think we want massive investment in public transport to get people out of their cars if possible. I would do more about educating people on how they can cut down on their carbon emissions. I think for a lot of people it's not at the forefront of their mind even though it should be. SCORE = 2

Natalie Bennett (Green Party): I don't accept the terms of the question. Many of the changes will make our lives more pleasant. I don't think insulating houses to reduce electricity bills is inconvenient or unpopular. Slowing down traffic on our roads will make our lives more pleasant.

I think many of the changes that we have to make can be positive. We need to slow down, work less and live in a way that is in sympathy with the environment; doing that will make out lives more pleasant, while some of the changes will mean we won't be able to do some things. SCORE = 1

Frank Dobson (Labour): It's no good pretending there won't be some unpopular changes but its no good to exaggerate them and a lot of changes are the sort of things people would do if they were convenient and if they were reasonably cheap, so a lot of people would be happy to get out of their car and catch a bus or train if it was convenient and if it wasn't more expensive than going by car. You need changes of that sort. You need young people to get elders to do it, a bit like a lot of parents have given up smoking have been persuaded to do it by their children. SCORE = 0

2) What initiatives will you support to strengthen community cohesion in Camden?

GL: Our whole idea of big society is getting people to take responsibility for their own actions and also using the third sector. We would reduce red tape to help people to be able to organise activities in the community which encourage cohesion, like intergenerational activities. I have started a programme where we have a job club. We started before Christmas and now we have 20 people coming along. It is run by local volunteers to help people back into work. I did not wait to get elected to do this. I have also done anti hate crime initiatives with kids. SCORE = 3

JS: Community projects are a very powerful way of getting people to work together with a shared goal or shared purpose - whether it be through shared gardens or allotments. SCORE = 2

I recently heard of a group of students from SOAS who grew food for some asylum seekers. I've done a lot of work with the Somali centre in Kentish Town getting young people active.

NB: I think one of the things we need to do is support public services, such as by bringing by park keepers and having people on buses who the public can go to. I think we need to make sure every possible property is used for housing by bringing back into use disused flats above shops, for example.

We need to reduce social inequality by tackling people who are left out and excluded in our society. That will improve social cohesion.

We have a very wealthy society; there should be enough for people if we distribute it more fairly. That way we will reduce the tensions caused by people competing against each other. SCORE = 2

FD: The basic thing is that we need to get people accepting that they are much more alike than they are different - that nearly everybody wants the same things for themselves and their families. They want somewhere decent to live, somewhere decent for their kids to go to school, if they work for a living to be able to get a job, doctors in hospitals and benefits if they fall ill, lose their job or when they grow old. The other thing we certainly need is the law that makes it a crime to incite religious hatred. SCORE = 3

3) Accepting the need to reduce public spending, how will you ensure that schools are adequately funded whilst taking into account differences in schools' intake, and promoting equality of opportunity for all?

GL: I think if you look at youth unemployment it is extremely high but what the conservatives are saying is that we will fund 400,000 apprenticeships and work placements and I will run a big chunk of that in Holborn and St Pancras. I have been a great supporter of the skills centre in York Way which Boris opened. These are the kind of things we want. We want to make sure some local enterprises are incentivised to take on young people because at the moment they don't do that. It is not just public money we need to get, we need to get it from the private sector too. SCORE = 2

JS: In order to increase social mobility you need to start by investing in education. We want smaller class sizes and more one-on-one tuition. I do not accept that we need to reduce spending on education. We'd reduce spending by getting rid of ID cards, trident and some defence programmes. SCORE = 1

NB: I don't accept the need to reduce public spending. My party want to maintain public spending except on roads, trident and ID cards. What we do actually want to do is boost spending on schools such as by building a new school south of the Euston Road. My party's manifesto allows spending an extra £500 million more on schools by the end of the next Parliament to pay for an extra 15,000 teachers [across the UK] and reduce class sizes down to an average of 20 pupils. SCORE = 1

FD: The crucial thing with education is to concentrate resources on the neighbourhoods and children most in need. The Government's Sure Start programme and nursery places for all three and four year olds goes some way to giving the most deprived children a better start in life. I think we should invest in free school meals for all children. We should ditch the skewed SATS system which is making it harder for teachers to concentrate on equalising performance. SCORE = 3


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